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Preview — Grab On to Me Tightly as if I Knew the Way by Bryan Charles
Grab On to Me Tightly as if I Knew the Way
A wise, bighearted, and hilarious look at one teenager's life by a remarkable new voice in contemporary fiction
It's 1992, and as Vim Sweeney deals with the recent end of his high school career and the uncertainty of his future, America shares his angst. In Seattle, Kurt Cobain reeks of teen spirit. In Washington, George Bush (the first one) has just finished rattling...more
alright. so i read some more. i hate giving up on books. i'm still not liking anything about this thing but i haven't thrown it out yet.
i finished it. waste of time. it's so disjointed and not very interesting. i don't feel for the kid... don't bother with ...more
I especially wanted to like this book after reading the author bio and the “about the book” section in which Charles says the book is an “intangible force that gave back everything I put into it and more.” I love that sort of passion, ...more
It has some problems and is--perhaps--a bit too fragmented at times. But, holy shit, there are some killer lines and moments in here. The kind that make any writer jealous and awed at this author's ability to spin a sentence. Mr. Charles has many of those moments, and the book becomes ridiculously fucking beautiful.
And, again, I get that some would think ...more
This is one of those books that actually changes the cadence of your thoughts as you read it.... The author's voice is so intensely urgent, so fervent and sure. Vim is the boy I would have been (and was!) in love with in high school.
It does hit a wall though, which seems like it may have been the intent of the story but ultimately made me less excited about reading it. As the main character flounders and sort of flails around his life, you are expected to care, but somehow- I don't kn ...more
In the end, the main character seems shallow and naive, nothing has ...more
"Give me a sweater made from your smell and whispers."
"The fatigue setting in, the emptiness, the dull panic, an alarm clock blaring, banging against the love and desire. The certain knowledge that all of these things will live within you and fight for dominance the rest of your days."
"The power light on the Twin Reverb glows like god's electric blood."
"You lean down, closer, closer, close enough now to feel the heat of her breath on your mouth, and to taste it, sweet and vaguely smoky. You are ...more
Years ago, I picked up this book because the title intrigued me, as well as the short plot blurb on the back cover, which mentioned Kurt Cobain and Vim's "stumbling" toward adulthood. A coming-of-age story set in the early '90's? I'm there!
So I thought. I was a fourteen year old Nirvana fan when Kurt Cobain committed suicide I would have liked this book better back then, when I was an angsty lost soul like Vim (minus the drug and alcohol abuse). The plot is aimless, Vim is a whiny, self-cen ...more
Grab On to Me Tightly as if I Knew the Way; typical premise, atypically written. Standard male coming-of-age from the perspective an early-90s midwestern punk (my wheelhouse). Had I read this at age 16 it would likely have been my favorite book. Particularly enjoyed the second ...more
It is written in a very fragmented and poetic fashion. It reflects alot on the mass feelings of anxiety demonstrated by adolescents and young adults in the 90's. I enjoyed the elopement from my usual genres and topics of interest.
It's a quick read too and far from the sameold, sameold we can easily run into. His method ...more
The "stream of consciousness" style made it impossible for me to enjoy. Page after page of incomplete sentences and disjointed thoughts connected by song lyrics - no thank you.
Amazon Deal of the Day and I still paid too much.
Today I read the first 24 pages. I didn't like them. It reminded me of slammed poetry. I don't like poetry slamming. It was also like a snot-nosed teenager who is trying very hard to be cool, but ends up just sounding like a snot-nosed teenager trying to sound cool, and therefore, not cool.
I might try again later. A lot later after all of my books have caught fire and I have n ...more
The "Insights, Interviews, & More..." section at the end almost made me want to add an additional star... When discussing his influences, Mr. Charles shares the following: "Finally, I recommend the lyric sheet to Pavement's Brighten the Corners. The album is musically close to flawless, but even if late-nineties indie rock isn't your thing the words alone are worth the price of admission. Especially with "Shady Lane", "Starlings of the Slipstream", and ...more
If you like books to have lots of action/ a full on plot then you probably wouldn't enjoy it, as not a massive amount really happens. However I think the main character ends up a completely different, and matured person. It's pretty much a coming of age story but different to any other I've read, it delves much deeper into the mind of the main charcter. Bryan Charles writes BRILLIANTLY, there were so many points in the book where I would j ...more
Also, there are some funny, 90s references that make you realize ...more